We had a short ringing session on our CES site on the Teifi Marsh today to check guys and poles ready for the coming season. We were rewarded with a catch of 27 new birds and 12 retraps.
The highlights were 9 Blackcaps, 7 Willow Warblers and 4 Chiffchaffs. Some good retraps - a Cetti's Warbler ringed as a juv in 2012 that we didn't see last year and a Goldcrest ringed as a juv in August now with a brood patch breeding on the reserve.
Two of the Willow Warblers had us scratching our heads and reaching for Svensson as they looked like Chiffs with dark legs yet were not emarginated on the 6th Primary (apologies to non-ringers for the technical bit here!). On the Skomer blog on the 30th March they had posted a picture of a similar looking bird labelled as the subspecies "Northern" Willow Warbler P.t. acredula which breeds in northern Scandinavia east to western Siberia and winters in central Africa. Our usual Willow Warblers P.t. trochilus breed in Europe (from the Pyrenees and Alps northward) except northern Scandinavia and winters in west Africa. Hopefully we will catch some more of these interesting Willow Warblers and take some pictures.
This evening we were back on the marsh enjoying the spectacle of a couple of hundred Hirundines over Mallard pond and at least 30 Wagtails coming into roost. Cetti's Warblers were still singing from 4 territories after dusk. We ringed 8 White Wagtails and 1 Pied Wagtail.
The next blog will be about the current Goldfinch passage through our gardens.